Data Management

From Spreadsheets to Relational Databases and Back

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Executive Summary

This paper presents techniques and tools to transform spreadsheets into relational databases and back. A set of data refinement rules is introduced to map a tabular datatype into a relational database schema. Having expressed the transformation of the two data models as data refinements, one obtains for free the functions that migrate the data. The paper uses well-known relational database techniques to optimize and query the data. Because data refinements define bidirectional transformations one can map such database back to an optimized spreadsheet. The paper has implemented the data refinement rules and one has constructed tools to manipulate, optimize and refactor Excel-like spreadsheets.

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